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Michael J. Tansey
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Dr. Michael J. Tansey is a graduate of Harvard University (A.B. '72) and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (Ph.D. '78) where he has been an Assistant Professor teaching and supervising students, interns, residents, and post-doctoral fellows. He has been in private practice for over 30 years with adolescents, adults, and couples. Along with a co-authored book on empathy and the therapeutic process, he has written numerous journal articles.

Entries by Michael J. Tansey

A Gun Lobbyist, a Domestic Terrorist, and 53 Republicans Walk into a Bar...

(8) Comments | Posted December 16, 2015 | 5:05 PM

We are living in an increasingly frightening world. We know that even a single terrorist prepared to die can create massive carnage on American soil. It seems certain that more attacks are inevitable in our open society. As a by-product of recent events, for the first time we are able...

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Horror and Hope in the Murder of Laquan McDonald

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2015 | 3:48 PM

Barbaric atrocity is on full display in the video of Laquan McDonald's killing by a Chicago police officer last October. Much more difficult to detect is the hope that a slaying so horrific has great potential to galvanize fundamental change in police accountability regarding excessive force whereas throughout our history,...

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Live Video: Its Impact on Police Brutality; Its Absence in Mass Murders

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2015 | 4:57 PM

There have been dramatic changes over the past ten months toward curbing unchecked police brutality, far beyond what anyone might have anticipated in their scope and depth. In painfully stark contrast, we are worse off than ever regarding common sense gun control laws pertaining to background checks for lunatics and...

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The Tale of Two Tapes

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 9:07 AM

Pictures have far more power than words to trigger massive social change. Iconic photos of a South Vietnamese officer in the act of executing a Viet Cong suspect; a naked young girl fleeing in agony after being napalmed; 500 bodies of dead infants, children, old men and women strewn about...

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Coping With the Anguish of Fertility Treatment

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 1:20 PM

Few among us are not personally aware of the anguish of infertility, either from our own experience or that of a close friend or family member. Both as a clinical psychologist and a husband who has successfully achieved fertilization with my wife resulting in the birth of boy and girl...

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Psychotherapy? Medication? Both? Neither?

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 1:10 PM

There is widespread and often strident controversy -- both in the general public and an alarming percentage of physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, counselors, coaches, etc., -- regarding the need for psychotherapy vs. medication vs. both vs. neither. Studies of questionable validity tend to be ham-fisted and poorly designed,...

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Searching for a Great Psychotherapist

(1) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 12:26 PM

I am often asked how to go about finding a psychotherapist, so I sat down last month to write a piece on the matter only to find that I'd been scooped by Daniela Tempesta in an excellent post detailing five important considerations to keep in mind. Although I...

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Our Year of Living Dangerously

(24) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 9:18 AM

As we come to the first anniversary of the massacre of twenty small children and seven of their devoted school staff, our nation once again has its heart broken by searing memories of one of America's most horrific tragedies. The image of tiny children being pulverized at very close range...

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Guns, Demoralization, and the Saboteur Within

(56) Comments | Posted June 28, 2013 | 4:55 PM

Two months ago, the United States Senate failed to pass gun control legislation that would have mandated universal background checks for the purchase of firearms by a vote of 54-46 -- six votes short of the required sixty for passage. Given the fact that 90 percent of American citizens in...

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Guts and Guns

(115) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 7:18 PM

This past week has been remarkably demoralizing for those of us seeking inspiration from Congressional leadership in Washington. On Friday the 15th -- appropriately the Ides of March -- the BBC reported on the release of audiotapes of Lyndon Johnson detailing Richard Nixon's treasonous sabotage of imminent peace settlements of...

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PTSD: The Invisible Laceration

(9) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 2:21 PM

This past Wednesday, in an unprecedented act of wisdom and sensitivity, the Connecticut General Assembly unanimously passed legislation establishing a special charitable fund to help police, teachers, school secretaries, custodians, and medical examiners receive mental health assistance and expanded workers compensation in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook...

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It's the Guns, Stupid!

(299) Comments | Posted January 21, 2013 | 12:41 PM

We have reason to be extraordinarily proud as Americans this week. Because of the courage, determination, and hard work of President Obama and Vice President Biden, we have a set of ambitious legislative proposals and executive actions whose passage would go a long way toward removing military weaponry from our...

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Guns, Lies, and Suicides

(14) Comments | Posted January 11, 2013 | 2:57 PM

In the resurgent national debate regarding gun violence, the overriding focus -- understandably -- has been on homicide. I am aware of no discussion regarding suicide and guns. And yet the Center for Disease Control estimates that in the U.S., there were approximately 37,000 suicide fatalities in 2012, of which...

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Guns Don't Kill People... Lax Laws Kill People

(10) Comments | Posted January 4, 2013 | 9:02 AM

The NRA is not the problem. The NRA leadership is the problem, hijacking the public interest through its influence on gun laws. A 2012 study by Frank Lutz for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, polled 945 gun owners. The results show a shockingly counterintuitive statistic: fully 74% of NRA members (and...

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When Children Are Slaughtered

(91) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 8:53 AM

Last Friday morning at exactly 8:40 CST -- precisely when the Connecticut carnage exploded -- I initiated a psychotherapy session with a wonderful woman whom I have seen regularly for years. The session had a uniquely celebratory tone as we reflected on her imminent retirement and the new possibilities that...

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